Meet David Risher

David Risher in Barcelona

David Risher
David Risher is the CEO and co-founder of Worldreader.

From an early age, David devoured books. His mother received calls from neighbors who had seen him walking to school with his nose in a book; they were worried that he would get into an accident. After a career at Microsoft and Amazon, David visited an orphanage in Ecuador, whose library was not being used due to the lack of useful reading material. David reflected on how his experience in leading large-scale technology organizations could help children everywhere get access to books that they need to improve their lives.

Worldreader was born out of belief that for the first time, inexpensive technology and local content could help millions of children create a better future for themselves. Together with his team, David has expanded the organization to reach more than 13 million readers across 46 countries with content in 52 languages. Their goal is to cultivate reading around the globe and unlock the potential of the world’s next billion scientists, teachers, innovators, and explorers.

Prior to Worldreader, David helped develop and market Microsoft’s first desktop database products and created some of the company’s first Internet-based services. He also served as Amazon’s first Senior Vice President for Retail, where he drove the company to its first billion in revenue and profitable quarter.

David graduated from Princeton University with a degree in comparative literature, has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and is the recipient of a Wilson College Honorary Doctorate. He is a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awardee, a Draper Richards Kaplan social entrepreneur, an invited member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and a Microsoft Alumni Foundation Integral Fellow. David considers himself lucky to speak four of the world’s languages — English, French, Spanish and Catalan — and hopes someday to learn a fifth. David has two daughters and lives in San Francisco, California, with his wife, Jennifer.

“Reading boosts health, equity, and prosperity. It’s a vaccine against ignorance, and a vitamin for self-reliance. Through it, we become our best selves.“
–David Risher


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To arrange a speaking engagement with David, please contact his assistant Tanja Commike: tanja@worldreader.org.